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Game of Thrones 4×03 Rewatch: Breaker of Sanity

We’re back with yet another installment of our Game of Thrones rewatch project: The Wars to Come. Here, some slightly…less than enthused viewers of the HBO flagship by David Benioff and Dan Weiss (D&D) have committed to rewatching the first four seasons over again, back to a time they may have once thought of as “good.” Last week, George R.R. Martin’s episode bewildered, while this week, Kylie, Julia, Bo, and Jess are here to cover “The Breaker of Chains.”

Episode Recap

Joffrey has barely stopped breathing, yet Sansa hurries away from the scene, being led by Ser Dontos. The former knight-turned-fool takes her to Blackwater Bay, where a ship is waiting. On that ship is none other than Littlefinger, who immediately disposes of Dontos and explains to Sansa that he had been the one who arranged for Dontos’s “mother’s necklace” to be made just a few weeks prior.

Later, Olenna and Margaery discuss Joffrey’s death. Margaery seems genuinely disturbed by what she had seen, though Olenna notes that she’s definitely going to be happier without him. It’s a bit unclear if Margaery is queen now, and Olenna makes it clear that their alliance with the Lannisters is still necessary for them. She implies that Margaery will now get to “work” on Tommen.

In the Sept of Baelor, Cersei and Tommen grieve over Joffrey’s bier when Tywin comes in. He immediately begins coaching Tommen, the now-King, on what makes a good ruler, stressing the importance of listening to his advisors. It’s clear this upsets Cersei. Once Tywin and Tommen leave, Jaime enters, and Cersei asks him to kill Tyrion for her, since she is convinced he killed Joffrey. He doesn’t agree to it, though the two begin kissing soon. When Cersei pulls away, Jaime gets angry and calls her a “hateful woman.” He then rapes her, saying he doesn’t care as she protests.

Elsewhere in King’s Landing, Oberyn and Ellaria are having an orgy with sex workers, and Oberyn explains that he does not have a preference for any one gender. Tywin comes in and interrupts. Once he and Oberyn are alone, he offers him the position to be a judge for Tyrion’s trial. He also gives him a seat on the Small Council and promises that he can arrange a conversation between Oberyn and Ser Gregor, though denies ever having ordered Gregor to harm Elia and her children.

Tyrion, meanwhile, sits in a cell. Pod visits him, and Tyrion asks to have him arrange a visit with Jaime. Pod is also there to ask Tyrion what witnesses he wishes to call, though after learning Sansa escaped, and Bronn isn’t allowed to see him, Tyrion doesn’t have any to name. Pod tells Tyrion that someone offered him to be knighted if he testifies against Tyrion. Tyrion tells Pod that he needs to get himself out of King’s Landing, because whoever made him this offer will probably kill him if he doesn’t obey.

Up at the Wall, Sam worries about Gilly’s safety, even though they seem to have interest in one another. He fears that the other brothers of the Night’s Watch might try to rape her, so he instead arranges for her to stay at a Molestown brothel, where she can work to clean and watch the other babies. Gilly seems upset by this, but Sam reiterates that he’s trying to protect her.

A bit to the south, a village is attacked by Ygritte’s wildling party. One of the Thenns tells a small boy to run to Castle Black and explain what just happened. He does so, but Thorne explains to the brothers that this is a trap to lure them out. Jon agrees. Soon after, Grenn and Edd turn up at the Wall, having escaped the clutches of the mutineers still holed up at Craster’s. Jon realizes that the mutineers could very easily tell Mance’s wildling army that there’s only 100 Brothers of the Night’s Watch at Castle black, not the thousand he had lied about, and that they need to go to Craster’s and kill them before Mance arrives.

Down in the riverlands, Arya and Sandor stumble across a man’s property, who invites them for dinner. The man lives with his daughter and takes good care of them, believing they had fought for the Tullys. He explains that he has had trouble with bandits, but offers Sandor a job working there to drive them off. Instead, Sandor robs them. Arya screams at him, but Sandor insists the man is weak and wouldn’t survive the winter anyway.

Stannis, meanwhile, is trying to figure out how to make arrangements to go North. He is especially frustrated after hearing about Joffrey’s death, believing the leech he threw into the fire was the cause, and that Gendry would have been of use to them now. Davos insists that they need to find money to buy sell-swords instead. During a reading lesson with Shireen, the Onion Knight realizes what a good source of money might be: the Iron Bank of Braavos.

Finally, in Essos, Dany has arrived at Meereen. The Meereenese send out a champion to face her, and given that Daario is somewhat expendable, she allows him to enter the duel. He wins by throwing a dagger into the eye of the champion’s horse, knocking the man off for an easy kill. The Meereenese attempt to shoot arrows at Dany’s forces, but they are just out of range. From her safe distance, Dany makes an announcement to the current slaves of Meereen that she has liberated slaves in Astapor and Yunkai, and she is not their enemy. Her forces then fire catapults of barrels filled with chains collected from the now-freedmen of the two cities.

Initial, quick reaction

Kylie: I kind of feel like this is a somewhat strong episode, at least in the context of the past couple months of this rewatch. But the entire thing is overshadowed by the absolutely atrocious sept scene. I know we’ll all have words about it. Also, 90% of this was a downer slog, even if I can see that it was perhaps technically done better.

Bo: I guess the good news is that the sept scene happened early and it was all uphill from there?

I actually watched the next episode by accident instead of this one, so going back and watching this one was a very pleasant and welcome surprise. I actually like it. It’s just a damn shame that every single Thrones episode now has at least one scene that casts a pall over everything else. Also, the future of the show does the same for scenes that are strong upon first viewing.

Julia: Yeah, my instinctive impression is that this episode is reasonably well done, though only if you ignore the fact that anyone ever disputed that there was a rape scene in it… but reading over Kylie’s summary, I kind of can’t remember enjoying anything about it.

I’m a little disappointed because I thought this was the episode where we find out that Olenna freelance murdered Joff with no participation from any family member and hence “does know” that Tyrion didn’t do it.

Jess: Yeah, I’d agree that for the most part it’s a well done episode, but it also was lackluster. It had some good moments, but overall didn’t really hit hard, especially as the follow up episode to the Purple Wedding. I didn’t really feel a lot of momentum here from Joffrey’s death, especially in comparison to the pure mania afterwards in the books. And of course there was…that scene.

Highlights/lowlights

Kylie: My highlight is probably the Tyrion/Pod scene. I got genuinely sad by the end of it, and totally bought their dynamic. See what happens when the focus is on shared history rather than that one time Pod went to a brothel?

I also had a couple of mini ironic highlights: the epic music as Sansa fled, POTATOES, and Oberyn inviting Tywin to sit down on a sex-soaked bed.

My lowlight is obviously the sept scene between Jaime and Cersei. This is a scene I’ve written about a lot in the past, and one I feel like we’re going to focus on below. But two reasons made it my lowlight: one, the attack comes out of nowhere. Jaime just starts screaming at her for being “hateful” when it’s pretty clear Cersei is grieving (also this Jaime double, triples, and quadruples down on his love for Cersei in the seasons to come, so…where is that mentality even coming from?). Secondly, knowing Alex Graves’s quote makes it 5,000x worse. No, the sex does not become consensual, you f-cking idiot. She is still protesting into the scene change.

I need to step back here, but my god. The blood still boils.

Bo: I expect we’ll all agree about the lowlight. We can give an honorable mention to the Thenns but the wildling raid falls well short of the sept rape. How in the world did they not realize this was a rape scene? I’m honestly quite disturbed that someone could watch that scene and not call it rape. Why does Game of Thrones insist on including every single rape scene from the books, regardless of how out-of-context, when they happily cut so much?

The implications, well, they’re there.

Julia: I feel like I should try to push for some lowlight diversity, but I don’t see how that’s possible. In isolation, it’s a decently filmed (totally unambiguous) rape scene. Though, Jaime’s anger comes out of nowhere so much that it’s a little cartoonish. You could argue that his anger is a little seeded since he was clearly annoyed with Cersei for not putting out in the first episode of the season. However, yeah, everything else. First off, the fact that one major character raped another seems to have no impact on anything, and in fact makes them double down on the relationship, I guess? Then, yeah, goddamn Alex Graves! Shut your mouth hole, dude!

Highlight? Um… I don’t know, the rest of the episode felt very beige to me. Anything that stood out was not in a good way. Like, how no one at any point asks Gilly what she wants and she’s forced to just be mildly passive aggressive, or the entire father and daughter thing that involved a prayer for the sexual purity of an eight-year-old, or Oberyn’s Bisexual Manifesto, which was… something.

I think my favourite part was when the scene opens on a woman’s butt crack. It’s not a Pornish orgy without that.

Bo: Well, my highlight is Oberyn and the brothel. We all have good reasons to dislike the hypersexualization of him and Ellaria but the moment he invites Tywin to sit down, I stopped caring. I laughed so hard. Plus, afterwards the scene settled into a pretty solid exchange, with Tywin at his bargaining best and Oberyn actually feeling like Oberyn. Or maybe it’s just Pedro Pascal. The man sells me, no matter how stupid his material.

Julia: I would enjoy him more if it didn’t feel like the writers were making fun of me personally by having him mention how much he hates violence against women and children in literally every scene he’s in.

Jess: I have to agree with the Tyrion/Pod scene highlight. It was actually quite sentimental and dynamic, even if it really does further the Saint Tyrion cause. It was so nice to see Dinklage have to act, and there really has been a decent amount of set up for their relationship and what it means to him to tell him goodbye. I recently rewatched “Blackwater” and “Valar Morguilus” and I think it helped this scene hit home.

The clear lowlight is the sept rape scene. It’s just so poorly done as well in terms of it even being a lead up within that conversation. It seemingly comes out of nowhere just in terms of how purely violent it is. Not to mention it has no repercussions for the characters. It’s really a shame because making it clear rape could have been a really intelligent read of a scene from the books that is already questionable and has POV bias. But when they double down on the fact that it was a consensual scene in interviews and fail to follow it up with any aftermath, it just makes it completely reprehensible.

My other lowlight would be the goddamn Thenns telling Olly they’re going to eat his mom and dad in the most ridiculous moustache twirling villain scene.

Quality of writing

Bo: I thought it was pretty solid this week. The exposition actually stood out to me for how well done it was, and the conversations hit the mark. Sandor and Arya on the farm would be a really strong scene if we didn’t know the future of the show. Thrones was on its game this week. Well, except for the director.

Julia: Ha. I wonder how many of these scenes GRRM actually wrote.

Just throwing that out there.

The only writing that stood out as painful is all the orgy stuff. I like a good Bisexual Manifesto as much as the next ally, but I really don’t give a hoot about how Showberyn is hot even with a droopy ass.

Kylie: I actually had a bit of a mixed reaction to Tywin educating Tommen over Joffrey’s bier. Even for Tywin, it just felt 100% too pushy, and definitely out of place. Was it even a concern that Tommen wouldn’t listen to those around him?

Julia: I was just sad for Poor Carol, watching another son being stolen from her.

Bo: We don’t really have any examples of Tywin teaching, but he strikes me as someone who would do that. And probably sneer at Joffrey’s corpse on the way out. He knew as well as anyone what Joffrey was and how hard he would be to control. Control is all Tywin cares about.

Kylie: Maybe it just felt endless to me because I knew what was coming up?

Bo: That is a very real possibility.

Jess: Yeah other than the obvious the writing was pretty okay. I actually quite liked the scene with Tywin and Tommen, even if it frustrates me to no end that they still write Tommen like such a young child despite aging him up just to have sex. It was nice seeing that dynamic with Cersei in utter silence, something that rarely happens on this show that likes to tell more than it shows.

Our 8th grade book report (on themes)

Kylie: Okay, this is going to be incredibly overarching, but: the morality of doing bad things to justified ends. Or perhaps, grappling with that decision.

We’ve got Sansa horrified at Dontos’s murder even though Littlefinger is likely right about the potential for someone to buy him off, Sandor robbing the father/daughter in a sort of “we’ll get more out of the money anyway” mentality (not that I agree), Cersei asking Jaime to kill Tyrion for murdering Joffrey, the Night’s Watch deciding to let the villages suffer since they need to protect the Wall (before deciding that they have to go kill the mutineers), and Olenna happily encouraging Marg that she’ll be a great manipulator of the 12-year-old. If you stretch, Tywin giving Oberyn a seat could be there, Tyrion telling Pod to do what he has to do to save himself, and arguably Sam dropping Gilly off in a situation that makes her clearly distressed as a means of protecting her.

Got nothing for Dany and Davos, but I’m trying.

Julia: Gilly and Cersei can come together to make a theme of taking agency away from women. What fun! Sansa too, I guess, since she had nothing to do with her own rescue.

More seriously, there are a lot of characters who are adjusting and reevaluating. Tywin is shifting into ruling through a different grandson, so is Marg. Sam had to change his plan because… um, he needs to protect Gilly. Davos is trying a new strategy for Stannis, Jon is changing his plan to deal with the mutineers. Sandor wasn’t planning to rob a poor dude, but hey the opportunity arose.

Dany doesn’t fit with this much.

Bo: I think I’m on board with Kylie, for the most part? But I think we can look back now and realize there isn’t much questioning of morality here. At the time, sure, but Thrones has made it clear that it 100% buys into what Sandor told Arya. “How many Starks need their heads cut off…”

I think this episode fits into the one theme this show bothers to reinforce: morality is dumb in this setting and if you can lie, cheat, steal, and kill to get ahead, you should because that’s the only way to do things in this world. Anyone who thinks twice or doesn’t prescribe to a brutal mindset is an idiot who will die if they don’t learn.

Kylie: Oh, then Daario does fit in, since he won by throwing a dagger into the horsey’s eye. That made me pretty upset.

Julia: I guess the title this week is in the grand traditions of “mostly random but kind of related to one scene.” Because I can’t think of any other broken chains, literal or symbolic. Maybe Joff was a chain for the Tyrells.

Jess: Yeah, this episode was hard for themes but I would say maybe the morality question lines up the most, although for them it’s not about morality being essential but it being essential to abandon it all together.

The Butterfly Effect (cracks in the plaster)

Julia: So, Dontos’s death was completely neutered by the fact that he’s just some random guy who popped up on the show.

Kylie: It’d make sense Sansa would still feel sad, I suppose, but it was pretty badly done, especially since his re-introduction required a “remember when” moment from two years prior.

Julia: Do you think we would notice how wheel spinning the Wall and Stanis stuff is if we hadn’t read the books?

Bo: Hmm. Stannis does feel horribly stalled. He saw the message from the Wall already, right? He should be on his way, not messing around with Iron Bank nonsense. The Wall itself doesn’t feel stalled to me yet. It’s coming soon, though. I guess we could wonder what the wildlings in the Gift are doing exactly, and realize the wheel-spinning involved.

Kylie: They’re both stalled since the creative decision was made to have them converge in a GIANT BATTLE at the end of the season. I guess they figured they needed an explanation to how Stannis could raise funds for troops, but frankly one expository scene in Braavos would have done the trick. We don’t need him continuing to stomp around Dragonstone being a huffy jerk to make his rescue of the Night’s Watch feel more shocking, or satisfying, or something.

Jess: Yeah I would agree that the hints of wheel spinning are happening here. Especially with Stannis. It ends up doing a disservice to him to just sit around when he’s all about pushing forward no matter what.

Remember adaptation?

Kylie: Of the many adaptational choices made, one I can’t figure out is why they made Olenna an independent actor in the Joffrey murder. Were they afraid that would make Marg less likable?

Bo: Good question. Considering this show goes so far out of its way to make the Tyrells everything Cersei fears, why not make it a family operation like in the books? This may be the only time they portray Margaery as anything short of the stereotypical seductress liar. I don’t understand why. And this is why Garlan and Leonette should exist!

I’m also making a call here: Shireen is one of the few characters indisputably improved from her book character. She couldn’t be more perfect.

Kylie: I agree, and I also can’t help but think that Patchface couldn’t have really worked in this medium. The “Shireen School for Conveniently Placed Illiterates” gets a tad ridiculous, but I had to grin at her berating Davos for his pronunciation of “knight.”

Julia: And who doesn’t like a Holy Grail reference?

There’s no doubt Shireen is as charming as all hell, though I’m still not sure why she seems to have grown up locked up in one room dressed like a peasant. If only she had a bastard cousin to hang out with. Or maybe she and Davos’s kid could have a play-date.

Kylie: I will say, Jon making the case to kill the mutineers makes far more sense than I remember, not that what’s about to happen is justified in any way. I also find it hard to believe that tactically, Mance would do much different knowing the true number of men. He’s lighting a big fire even if Jon’s lie about the 1,000 brothers had been real, right?

Julia: He’s planning for 1,000 men I guess. And he has the numbers. So I guess all that Jon and Co. are doing is making sure he definitely throws everything he has at the Wall.

Bo: To be fair, there’s a significant difference between planning for 1,000 and 100. Why bother with any tricks if so few defenders man the Wall? I still think Craster’s ranks among the worst decisions this show ever made. It might not be totally unreasonable, but everything about the actual execution SUCKS.

Kylie: Yeah, of course. I just remember the excursion feeling less motivated.

Julia: Wait, less motivated? Omg, how unmotivated must you have found it before.

Kylie: We have to save the sept scene for the next section in terms of lovely adaptational decisions, but I guess maybe we have to give mild-props for saving the Dornish seat on the Small Council for this moment? It hadn’t been proposed before on the show, and in the context of “I want something from you” from Tywin, it actually works rather well. Even if it does mean that our favorite moment from Clash when Tyrion gives a bunch of free shit to the Dornish is gone.

Jess: I would agree with all of the above, but I’d also say that in my naivety I still get frustrated at their lack of care for Sansa and her character. They have no interest in seeing what Joffrey’s death means for her. Instead, she just gets pushed through her narrative, with no agency or perspective importance whatsoever. Her chapter after the Purple Wedding as she goes through her mixed emotions while trying to escape as the bells ring is one of the most riveting pieces of writing Martin has done. It’s a shame they don’t care about Sansa in her own storyline. The effects of Joffrey’s death feel almost imperceptible because of the lack of character work done here.

Kylie: I was actually giggling at her escape with Dontos because of the music choice. And then it naturally became about Littlefinger’s amazing deception (oh no! Not the necklace from 3 seconds ago) and his very Barbossa-esque accent. Sansa was passive through this whole thing, and a convenient sounding board for Littlefinger.

Carol Watch: who is Cersei this week?

Julia: I genuinely felt for Cersei in the sept scene, even before the, you know, rape. There she was grieving her son who died in her arms, and she just has to stand there while her father takes her other son away from her.

Then some asshole starts calling her “hateful” for no real reason I can discern.

Bo: It’s much easier to find sympathy for Cersei here than in the books because of her Carolization. She spends most the show trying to do right by Joffrey and having good reason to fear everyone around her. Seeing her lose her kid, almost certainly questioning herself for what Joffrey became, and then seeing Tywin take Tommen…yeah, we should feel for her.

I honestly don’t know which to choose. In many ways this is how Cersei acted over Joffrey’s body in the books. And yet everything that happened feeds into the image of Carol. I’m quite confused.

Kylie: This whole scene was confused. I think regarding Cersei or Carol, it’s actually a moot question this week. The bigger issue is that the season arc of Cersei and Jaime is basically, things are strained. Then Cersei commits to her love for Jaime, tells her dad, and they bang in the White Tower in the season finale.

Cersei being raped by Jaime…it doesn’t fit with that at all. And as Julia pointed out, it doesn’t really fit in the scene, nor does it even fit with Jaime’s characterization in any surrounding moment. Hell, Jaime doesn’t even get angry or call her “hateful” for having blown up the sept, murdering most of the Tyrells, and claiming the throne.

I’m not trying to defend her asking him to kill Tyrion, but that it snaps him into such a rage that he can’t help but rape her doesn’t track in any respect. Then to think that the director actually thought he captured something where he’d describe it as having become “consensual”…what the hell was he looking at? Did D&D add in more protests with ADR without telling him or something?

Benioff and Weiss have actually always been clear that this was Jaime forcing himself on Cersei. The only thing I can think is that this was a checklist effect. The sex scene in the book is clearly not supposed to be an example of healthy, enthusiastic consent, but given the context of when it happens and how the dynamic between Cersei and Jaime evolves, there’s a point behind it (not to mention their relationship is so messed up that neither one of them would have considered that out of the ordinary).

They stuck it in the show since it’s in the books, but they stripped it away of all context and filmed it completely ineptly. Then, like Julia said earlier, they just went on telling the story they wanted to tell, without this impacting anything. Cersei/Carol just doesn’t matter here at all.

Julia: Wait. We were supposed to think Jaime called her hateful for being mean to Tyrion? God, now I’m even more confused. Or is she hateful for not immediately being willing to pay for said assassination with sexual favors?

What the hell is going on?

Jess: I think the hateful woman line specifically speaks to her souring his sexual advances but you’re right. It makes no narrative sense, ESPECIALLY knowing how they deal with it after and what came before. I felt hints of Cersei in the scene with Tywin and Tommen and even when she was just talking to Jaime but there was also this just overall Carol-ness that came through.

Kylie: Right, she’s sad and reasonable, but yet everyone shouts at her at what a monster she is and how hateful she is. Actually a very good signifier of what’s to come.

Exposition Imposition: good or clunky?

Bo: I actually really liked the exposition this week. Tywin mixes history lessons in with his instruction of Tommen, multiple scenes reinforce the importance of mercenaries in the Free Cities and Slaver’s Bay, and Shireen’s reading lessons give a bit of info on Braavos. The only iffy part for me was having the Crow list off everyone’s crimes, which was enough, and then have Sam basically repeat him while warning off Gilly. Just say Castle Black is dangerous, we just heard why from someone else and Gilly would already know.

Otherwise, good job Game of Thrones!

Julia: We also find out that potatoes are a staple of the small folk in the Gift. Which, now that we’re here, and this is true in the books as well… I’m very confused about which New World crops exist in Westeros. Clearly there’s maize and potatoes, but I seem to recall it being made clear there are no tomatoes, coffee, or chocolate. I wonder if they have maple syrup or peanuts. Cotton?

Bo: I think I’ve participated and/or seen this conversation a hundred times now. I kind of come to the same conclusion every time; I love Martin, but people need to chill with trying to compare his world to anything Tolkien ever created.

Kylie: Julia’s just asking for her fic!

I’ll agree with you, Bo. The exposition was pretty seamless, though certainly heavy-handed at The Wall.

How was the pacing?

Juia: Any scene with the Pornish always feels too damn long. I also feel like the Sam and Gilly stuff got twice as much screen time as it deserved. Other than that, it was fine? I think our pacing issues are going to be more macro this season.

Bo: I’m actually surprised that I can’t think of a scene that felt too long. Thrones always has issues with jarring scene cuts and such, but things did happen and moved relatively well?

Kylie: I think this episode had the benefit of its second half being much better paced than the first. I do recall the beginning feeling endless, but the ending itself flew, so it left me feeling pretty happy overall. We somehow have avoided talking Dany this whole time, but one thing I can say is that the Meereenese sequence managed to keep tension up and didn’t dwell on anything for too long.

Let’s talk about sex, baby

Kylie: I guess this is where we have to talk about the fantastic representation? I mean as one of those bisexuals, it’s not like I had an issue with Oberyn’s dialogue per se, but I do take a bit of an issue with it worked into a fivesome at the brothel he seems to be living in.

Bo: Unfortunately, this probably speaks to the college frat bro interpretation of bisexuality these writers operate by. At least they kind of worked in the idea that sex workers need to make as much money as they can because their profession doesn’t have a long shelf life?

Julia: The one thing I will say for the adaptation of Oberyn is that they really capture his giant and overwhelming sense of privilege. I like how star-struck Olyvar is by him, and his smugness when being told that people will still want to have sex with him when he’s an old dude. He’s like a Westerosi Sean Connery.

Also appreciate him being a little less rapey this episode. We’ve had enough of that.

Bo: Will you all hit me if I say the woman at Mole’s Town who talks to Gilly sounds like and kind of resembles Anne Bonny? Between her and Sansa’s rowboat journey out to Skeleton Island, I realized Black Sails is still ruling my brain right now.

Kylie: The terrifying woman who asked if she was a wildling??

I guess thinking back, I at least agree about her voice.

Julia: She definitely looked like a pirate to me.

In memoriam…Dontos, villagers, Meereen champion

Julia: Like I mentioned above, I don’t see how Dontos’s death could mean much to anyone in this context. And as Kylie said, it makes sense that Sansa would be sad, because she’s nice and I suppose there was some effort to contextualize it with “he helped me because I saved him.” But when you compare it to the books, where this relationship is built up for months and months, and Sansa has gotten strength from it but also shed some of her idealization from realizing this is the closest thing to a valiant knight she’s like to get (then finding out he’s all in it for the money…) Yeah, most of that wasn’t here.

I have nothing to say about the Meereenese champion other than that Bronn and Daario seem to be the exact same character at this point.

Bo: Maybe cynicism finally overtook my optimism for once, but I never cared about Dontos in the books, either. I figured he was in it for something. But I do feel bad for Sansa, because I’m always feeling bad for Sansa.

I feel like the wildling raid should have more emotional impact. It’s a really terrible moment that should have given credence to the Night’s Watch men who resisted Jon as Lord Commander. Even back when this first aired, though, I remember most of the reaction revolving around Olly. The fandom debated, and was mostly against, the idea of Olly killing Ygritte. Funny how we all saw that coming immediately.

Otherwise the reaction was “Tormund and Ygritte are awesome.”

Jess: Yeah I didn’t feel anything from the deaths this episode, mostly because Dontos had been missing from the narrative the majority of Sansa’s storyline. The Thenns killing the villagers also lost any impact because of how ridiculous they were. “I’m gonna eat your mama and I’m gonna eat your papa.” I would say the farmer’s stabbing got closest to actual impactful emotion but that wasn’t technically a death. I didn’t feel much of anything this episode. It was just acceptable.

Kylie: I do like that this episode seeded the Olly Headnod though.

As is usually the case, it was hard for me to be particularly invested in Dany’s triumph. The Meereenese Champion was an idiot, but he was also an idiot with the only vague penis shot we get until that actor’s warty one in Season 6. At least, I think so.

But as important as that takeaway is, what’s more important is that we hear your thoughts on this episode. Did you find it stronger as well? Do you have any idea what the heck Alex Graves was talking about? We’ll certainly be back next week as we continue into Season 4, and for now, we wish you good fortune in The Wars to Come.


Images courtesy of HBO

Kylie
Written By

Kylie is a Managing Editor at The Fandomentals on a mission to slay all the tropes. She has a penchant for complex familial dynamics and is easily pleased when authors include in-depth business details.

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